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Sir Edward Dyer

(1540 - 1607 / England)

The Faire Amarillis


Amarillis was full fayre:
The goodlyest mayde was she
From the east unto the west
That heaven's eye could se.


To Diana at her birthe
Her parents did her geve,
All untouchte a mayden's lyfe
Durynge her dayes to lyue:


Whose beheste she constant kepte
And whollye was enclynde
To be free to get great prayse
And win eche worthye mynde.


As there was good cause enoughe
So was she honored most.
They that had her seene abroade
At home would make their boaste.


Twoe ther were that her behelde
Who woulde have done so ever,
Happye theye (ye happye thryse)
If they had done so never


Coridon and Caramell:
Who longe with deere accorde
Ledd their lyues, and neyther wisht
Of other to be lorde:


Good and sure their freendshipp was
Tyll Amarillis fyne
Had the powre, perhapps the will
The bande for to untwyne:


All the goods that eche possest
Of bodye, goodes, or mynde
Were employde to other's use
As eche by profe did fynde:


They had no cause to enuye ought
The auncyent worlde's prayse
Of Damo and of Pytheas
And others in those dayes:


But the boye, that blynded god
In great despights complaynde:
That one earthe alone they were
That his darte quyte disdaynde:


Whereupon his strongest bowe
And sharpest arrowes hente
And in Amarillis eyes
He lyghtely pighte his tente:


Where he lay, to watche both tyme
And place for his avayll:
For the wightes that wiste not yet
What foe should them assayll:


One of his two shafts was dipte
In bitter sauce as gaulle,
The other in a pleasant wyne
And poyson myxte withall


As the smacke of dyuers sauce,
So dyuerslye they wroughte:
By despayre the one to deathe
By vague hope the other broughte.


With the first was Coridon
Throughe piercèd to the herte;
Caramell wh' in his brest
Felte of the other's smarte.


Butt with gould both headed were
And both wth lyke desyre,
Faygne they would wth'in therre brest
Hyde cloase their kyndled fyre:


But wthout it must appeere
That burnte so hot wthin:
Harde it is the flame to hyde
That it no issue win.


And in tyme strange lookes began
That spronge of Jelosye;
Full of care, eche laye in wayghte
For his felowe to descrye:


In the end all freendly lookes
Betweene these freendes decayde;
Bothe were bente to please theselues
Theire freende's case nothynge wayde.


Amarillis' love was soughte
With all they could deuyse,
Yea wth all the power of man
And prayer to the skyes:


All she sawe, and herde theire moane
As Aspis dothe the charme;
By and by she bayed them both
As guyltye of theyre harme.


Now to the one she would give eare
Now put the other of,
Allurynge him by courteseye,
And tauntynge him by scoff.


But that trust by tryalls paste
Made them theire doome suspende;
And indeed she usèd there
Where passione did offend.


He had neede of store of tyme
That would his pen prepare,
To sett forth theire agonyes
Theire dredd hope and feare.


Butt in vayne they spente theire tyme,
Theire labor all was lost:
She was farthest from theire need
Where they foreweenèd most.


Coridon waxte pall and leane
His younger heares torned hore;
Feates of armes, the horse and hauke
He left and used no more.


He had founde that Amarill
Soughte glorye more than love;
That she forcèd not his harmes
Her bewtye's power to prove.


Yet he could not leave to love
Butt yeeldynge to despayre,
Rente his hearte, his corpes fell downe
His goaste fledd to the ayre:


Caramell, thoughte women kynde,
Was apte to change and bowe;
And beleeued, to please him selfe
What fancye did allowe.


Butt beleefe ne makes the cause
Nor weauynge, workes the webb;
In the tyde his trauayll came
He tornèd in the ebb:


Att the last his vayne hope, him
No longer coulde sustayne;
In his longynge he consumde,
Lyfe coulde not him attayne.


Amaryllis herde of this
And pyttye moude wth all,
Muche to rue so harde a happ
One such faythe should befall.


To Diana strayghte she hyghes
Whome wayted one she founde,
With a trayne of all the dames
Whose chaste names Fame did sounde:


Unto her in humble wyse
She sayde she came to sue
For that these to lyuyng thynges
Myghte be transformde a newe;


In her armes the goddess mylde
Her darlynge softe did strayne:
What is that that thou (qth she)
Of me mayste not obtayne?


There withall Sr Caramel
A yellow flowre became:
Sweete of sente and muche esteemde
And Harte's ease caulde by name.


Amarillis pluckte the flowre
And ware it in her heade:
Sometymes she layde it in her lapp,
Sometymes upone her bedd.


Caramell, O happye flowre!
O most unhappy man!
In thy lyfe thou hadst thy deathe,
In thy deathe thy lyfe began.


Coridon turnde to an owlle
Fledd to the wildernes:
Never flockes, butt leades his lyfe
In solytarynes:


Nor his eyes can yet behould
The deare lyghte of the sun:
Butt aloofe he stealles his flyghte
And in the darke dothe run.


Amaryllis to the woode
Att sometyme will repayre,
And delyghte to here the laye
And tune of his despayre.


Well I wot what here is ment
And thoughe a talle yt seeme,
Shadowes haue their substance bye
And so of this, esteeme.


Ye that chaunce this for to heer
And do not prayse their speede
Give them thankes, for you by them
Are warnde to take heede.


Finis.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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